1-Day-Old Porkie Puppy
Is My Dog Pregnant?
Samantha stood shivering on the silver stainless steel examination table. Her black Porkie eyes flicked from her mom’s face to her doctor’s face.
Only moments before, Samantha’s mom asked, “Can you tell if she has another puppy inside her? I came home from class and she was nervous and kept running to the bedroom and back to me. So I followed her. While I was at school today, she must have given birth to this little boy puppy.”
The little 6 ounce black and tan puppy with one white hind paw like his father lay inert on a blue birthing blanket while Samantha licked and nudged him. She was a diligent and concerned mom. Even though he was stillborn, Samantha kept trying to clean him and stimulate his breathing with her gentle, firm licking.
Doc Truli lifted the little boy out of the nest box and wrapped him in a tiny white cotton blanket in preparation for a burial service at home later in the day. Samantha whined and looked after him anxiously. Next, Doc lifted Samantha out of her box and to the exam table. A careful, methodical palpation (feel) of the abdomen revealed a head-shaped and sized firm area in the mid abdomen. The little Yorkshire Terrier-Poodle mixed breed 2-year-old dog seemed strong, with normal vital signs and no obvious exhaustion or discomfort.
How to Make a Puppy Birthing Box
You can buy or build a whelping (birthing) box, complete with a protective rail horizontally running along the inside edge to protect puppies from mom accidentally lying down on them and suffocating them. Or, like most people, you can make a pretty good birthing box.
Dogs need quiet and comfort to have a good birthing experience. Some dogs will want human company. If you prepare a clean box and supply towelling or paper for nesting, but be sure it is not so thick a puppy will be lost in the layers, your female dog might take to your approved box.
Many dogs will crawl into bed with you, or lay on your pillow to have their litter. Consider it a compliment.
You can see Samantha’s box is a supermarket toilet paper box. An entry door in the side provides access for the mom dog. A towel is laid down, folded into two layers. And the bonus “sun roof” lets you and your veterinarian into the nest!
Doc Truli warned Sam’s mommy, “I cannot feel any movement or kicking. It’s possible this puppy is no longer alive. But miracles happen. I’ve even seen puppies born days apart in the same litter. I recommend and X-ray to see if the puppy’s head is small enough to pass through the birth canal naturally. If it is, we can wait and see for at least 12 hours, as long as she is not straining or tired. If we need to, we can give her a shot of oxytocin hormone to stimulate uterine contractions and empty the uterus.”
“I can’t afford an x-ray. Thank you for your help. We’ll pray for the best,” said Samantha’s mom.
Sometimes People Make the Veterinarian’s Day
The next afternoon, Doc called Samantha’s human.
“Guess what? At midnight last night (13 hours after the first puppy), she gave birth to the puppy. She’s alive!”
“Bring her in for a check-up as soon as you can,” said Doc Truli.
A 6 1/2 ounce black and tan girl with four white paws, like her father, snuggled by the milk bar on her mom’s belly. Samantha coddled and licked and generally just watched her baby with pride and attentiveness. What a great mommy she is!
Picking a Name
“What did you name her?” asked Doc Truli.
“I didn’t. I’m waiting for her personality to come out,” said mom.
“Well, she’s tiny, strong, gets along well with her mom. She’s now an only child, she doesn;t cry much, and she’s late. That should give you a start on the names!”
What would you name a tiny Poodle-Yorkie (Porky) girl?